Purpose. Protein and lipid deposits on contact lenses may contribute to clinical complications. This study examined the effect of phospholipids on the adhesion of bacteria to contact lenses.
Methods. Worn balafilcon A (n = 11) and senofilcon A (n = 11) were collected after daily wear and phospholipids were extracted in chloroform:methanol. The amount of phospholipid was measured by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Unworn lenses soaked in phospholipids were exposed to Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. After 18 h incubation, the numbers of P. aeruginosa or S. aureus that adhered to the lenses were measured. Phospholipid was tested for possible effects on bacterial growth.
Results. A broad range of sphingomyelins (SM) and phosphatidylcholines (PC) were detected from both types of worn lenses. SM (16:0) (m/z 703) and PC (34:2) (m/z 758) were the major phospholipids detected in the lens extracts. Phospholipids did not alter the adhesion of any strain of P. aeruginosa or S. aureus (p > 0.05). Phospholipids (0.1 mg/mL) showed no effect on the growth of P. aeruginosa 6294 or S. aureus 031.
Conclusions. Phospholipids adsorb/absorb to contact lenses during wear, however, the major types of phospholipids adsorbed to lenses do not alter bacterial adhesion or growth.